Sunday, 25 April 2010

Multilingual comic creation

My comp copies of Ri Ra #2, the Irish language kid's comicbook, just arrived in the post the other day and looks great. I have a 3 page story inside and with not speaking enough Gaelige to write the script myself, I had an odd process with this one.

I started off with the basic idea for a story, following on from the same theme and characters from #1, based on a young boys first year at school. I broke the idea into panels and scribbled the layout down on paper.

Then I sent Desy Downey, a fiddle playing, Irish language teacher of mine, the layouts with a brief description of what was happening in the story/panels and the kind of thing that the character would be thinking.

For example:


1/ Close up on Boy, wearing hurling helmet
2/ Grumpy PE teacher is telling the boys about team spirit. The boy is the smallest in the line and is not looking forward to the match because in his old school he was really bad at sports.
3/ The teacher goes into a rant about how winning is more important than playing. 
4/ The boy is picked last (as usual)

Then Desy came back with a poem that would be laid over/incorporated into the art, with a rough translation of what he was writing. The verse obviously reads a lot better in Irish than it does in English, but the English text doesn't appear in the comic at all.


1 NARR (Ar ais ar scoil agus anois corpoiliúint, (back to school and now PE)
 agus tá a fhios ag cách go mbeidh muid ag fulaingt! (and everyone knows we’ll all be suffering)
2 Múinteoir ;  anois a dhálta, an rud is fearr ná comh-oibriú (Now students, the best thing is team work)
Buachaill ; Tá sé cosúil le seanscoil s’agamsa, b’éigean dom éalú !(IT’s like my old school, I have to escape!)
3 Múinteoir ; agus rud is measa ná ag cáiliú an clúiche (and the worst thing is losing the game)
Buachaill, is fuath liom spóirt níor mhaith liom é chóiche! (I hate sport, I’ve never liked it)
4 Múinteoir: Tá mé dul a roghnú na foirne anois, seas suas go modhúil (I’m gonna pick the teams now stand up orderly)
Buachaill:  Mise an duine is lú, beidh mé ag fánacht go dtí an deireadh! (I’m the smallest person, I’ll be waiting untill the end)

After sending the text and layouts of for approval to Aidan Courtney for approval, I drew the finished art; Linework on paper, colours in photoshop then letters with Adobe Illustrator.

For example. page 1:

You can see I'm drawing in a more cartoony style for this comic as its aimed for ages 8-14 year olds. If you want to get a copy you can order both issues online here and its available in a lot of Irish comic stores as well.
If you know of any Gaelige speaking schools as well, you should let them know this is available as it works as a really great teaching aid.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Horsing around

I posted the loose pencils of a horse from a panel in Insomnia Publication's upcoming Layer Zero: Survival (written by Andrew Croskery) a while back. Andy Brown from Berserker comics is grayscale painting over them for the anthology and I got the last bit of art from him the other day, just before he headed off to Wizard World Anaheim.


Was messing around and here's a little animated GIF showing the progress from my doodle, to tighter pencils, to Andy's inks/wash.

And another panel crop (don't want too many spoilers) just for show:

Its being lettered by David Withers at the moment, who I met through the Belfast comic creators meetup. I'll post more details when I have a release date.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Tales of the Cthulhu Quarter..

Tales of The... has launched over at, which is starting with an anthology entitled 'Tales of the Cthulhu Quarter', a 6 week multimedia event which chronicles the arrival of H. P. Lovecraft's cosmic god in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.

We wanted to include a video, but since we haven't the budget for tentacles and destruction, I wrote and directed (with lots of help) a short prelude to Cthulhu's arrival. Its under 4 minutes long and you can go via or the direct link here to watch and see all who's involved.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Unbelievable redesign

I've had a bit of an embargo on me until now, but one year ago today Marvel comics phoned me up and asked me to redesign the X-men. There was no money involved, but in order to make it legally work-for-hire they did promise to sent me a free cosplay costume of any design that made it through. Though they couldn't guarantee anything other than size 8-11 (age).

I sent off the redesign for Cyclops below, but never heard back from Marvel. I hope it wasn't some kind of April Fool's joke on their behalf.